Chili is made to be cooked in the slow cooker. This is a simple ground meat & sausage chili recipe that cooks a couple hours.
I read somewhere that tomorrow is National Chili Day. I still laugh at all these “days”. Who designates them anyway? Seriously though, I don’t need a ‘day’ for me to make chili. Chili is kind of the gateway into slow cooking. For most people it’s the first slow cooker meal they make. It’s SSSOOO easy. This is my basic chili recipe.
Meat: I kept some of the ingredients in this recipe generic on purpose. For example I just state ‘ground meat and sausage’. Whether it is beef, pork or turkey that’s up to you. My local Ralph’s had a huge sale on Jennie-O lean turkey so I went a little crazy. No joke, I now have 6 pounds of ground turkey in my freezer. Ralph’s also had lean turkey sausages on sale so I picked up a couple of pounds of those as well. The point is, for this version you see here I used lean ground turkey and lean sweet Italian sausage. In the past I have used beef and pork though. One thing to note is that whatever sausage you use, make sure you buy uncased or uncase it yourself before browning.
Beans: I used salt-free, canned red kidney beans that were drained and rinsed. Black beans, pinto, garbanzo beans…you can substitute whichever beans you like in this case. If you use dry beans make sure to pre-soak them overnight first. If you’re using canned (nothing wrong with that), drain and rinse them before you dump them in the slow cooker.
Tomatoes: This recipes uses approximately 45 ounces of tomatoes. I used a combo of crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Absolutely switch that combo up if you like. Got diced tomatoes but not crushed or sauce? Then use all diced. The real question is, do you like your chili with more meat or more sauce? I tend to like more meat so sometimes I omit the 8 ounces of tomato sauce from this all together.
If you didn’t have to brown the meat first, this would be one of those recipes that you throw everything in the slow cooker and let it cook. It’s chili who cares about presentation. For the 1st time ever, I added a tsp of ghee. Lately I’ve grown to think everything tastes better with ghee. If you don’t have it, do NOT add butter as a substitute. Rather, just omit it all together.
I topped my bowl with green onion, fresh cilantro, and avocado. I like to make my chili the day before I plan on serving it. I don’t know about you but chili always tastes best to me served the next day. Am I the only one that thinks this??
- 1 lb ground meat
- 1 lb sausage (uncased)
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 10 ounces diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 15 ounces red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp ghee
- Brown ground meat & sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Drain fat and add meats to slow cooker.
- Add all other ingredients to slow cooker.
- Stir to mix well.
- Cook HIGH 3 hours or LOW 6.
Chili isn’t chili without cornbread. Check out my Paleo Jalapeño Cornbread recipe.